• Top '13 Stories: #7 - Twins Draft Kohl Stewart

    I guess if there is one positive to having three straight 96+ loss seasons, it is the high draft picks that the Minnesota Twins have received. In 2011, the Twins had the second worst record in baseball, so they had the second overall pick in the 2012 draft. With it, they selected Byron Buxton. In 2012, the Twins had the fourth worst record, so in 2013 they had the fourth pick.

    The selection was something that had Twins Daily buzzing for a month leading up to the draft. Would the Twins use the pick to take one of the three big college players? Would they work out a pre-draft deal with Reese McGuire and then use extra bonus money later in the draft?

    The Houston Astros took Mark Appel with the first overall pick. Third baseman Kris Bryant was selected by the Chicago Cubs with the second pick. Then the Colorado Rockies drafted Jonathan Gray with the third pick. The player the Twins were most rumored to want all along, right-handed pitcher Kohl Stewart, fell to them with the fourth pick and they were excited to draft him. (Jeremy, John and Seth talked about the pick at the end of the first day of the draft.)

    Stewart was the 6th-ranked quarterback in the nation and had signed to play at Texas A&M. However, when he was drafted he made it clear he had every intention of signing quickly with the Twins. In a conference call following his selection, Stewart said, “Football has always taken rank over baseball, especially in high school with it being so demanding and such a big deal here in Texas. I look forward to being able to just sit down and work on baseball for once. I’ve never been able to do that. I really didn’t start pitching at the level I have been pitching at until high school and then football came again and took away from that. So I’m really looking forward to being able to really focus on one thing and focus on that for a long period of time.”

    Stewart is blessed with some great gifts. He has a mid-90s fastball and has been clocked at up to 97 mph. He has a slider in the upper-80s. He has a curveball and a change up and he is also working on a sinker.

    Scouts said he had as much pure stuff as anyone in the draft, including Appel and Gray. Though some considered him fairly advanced for his age, he still has a lot of developing to do. In his 2013 high school season, he went 5-1 with a 0.18 ERA. He also struck out 59 batters in his 40 innings.



    After signing, he went to the Gulf Coast League where he posted a 1.69 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP. In 16 innings, generally two or three inning stints, he walked three and struck out 16. He was promoted to Elizabethton where he made just one start. He threw four shutout innings, giving up one hit, one walk and striking out eight.

    However, he experienced some soreness in his right shoulder and the Twins were wise to shut him down.

    In 2014, Stewart will certainly be one to watch. He will likely pitch for Cedar Rapids, in their six-man rotation. One thinks they will have him on some sort of innings limit or plan since he doesn't have a lot of innings on his arm.

    In 2014, the Twins will have the fifth overall pick in the draft which means that selection will be a top story in 2014. The Twins have added a couple elite prospects through their high first-round picks the last two years. As a pitcher with a big fastball and huge potential, Stewart will be a key to the Twins staying strong for years to come.

    A look at other Twins stories from 2013 includes:

    #13 – Twins in the WBC
    #12 – Drew Butera Traded to Dodgers
    #11 – Twins Sign Kubel, Trade Doumit
    #10 - Brian Dozier Breaks Through
    #9 - Kyle Gibson Promoted
    #8 - Aaron Hicks' Lost Year
    Comments 16 Comments
    1. Tibs's Avatar
      Tibs -
      What kind of innings limit are we looking at for Kohl Stewart?
    1. orangevening's Avatar
      orangevening -
      The reports of his diva attitude worry me. Sounds like the anti-Buxton.
    1. Dmolds19's Avatar
      Dmolds19 -
      Does anyone else see a connection between our pitchers not going more than 5 innings and the way our organization treats/trains pitchers?
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by orangevening View Post
      The reports of his diva attitude worry me. Sounds like the anti-Buxton.
      Can't all be Buxton, but a little strong confidence is also sometimes a necessity for a great player. He's not there yet, but he's definitely different than what the Twins typically go after. Not a bad thing unless it becomes a bad thing.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Dmolds19 View Post
      Does anyone else see a connection between our pitchers not going more than 5 innings and the way our organization treats/trains pitchers?
      No, they're going to let players just drafted work into the innings. College guys who have been throwing since January get to ease in. Stewart had some shoulder soreness. You don't mess with that.
    1. Jdosen's Avatar
      Jdosen -
      Quote Originally Posted by orangevening View Post
      The reports of his diva attitude worry me. Sounds like the anti-Buxton.
      I second orangevening's worries. I have a buddy in the organization (I will leave him anonymous) who backs up this sentiment about Stewart. At the same time however, his numbers and tools are certainly encouraging and it's not like everyone gets along with everyone, so maybe it's not all that big a deal.
    1. B Richard's Avatar
      B Richard -
      I'm a tad weary of these stories concerning Stewart's makeup. They seem to be built upon a couple anecdotal remarks made by commenters that have snowballed over time. I'll reserve judgment until a.) it emerges as a problem in mainstream media b.) I have a personal interaction with the kid.

      Confidence is not a bad thing and will serve him well when he faces the challenges and adversity of the game.
    1. TheBigGuy7273's Avatar
      TheBigGuy7273 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tibs View Post
      What kind of innings limit are we looking at for Kohl Stewart?
      I would guess 120 in terms of innings... I'm not a big stat nut but somewhere around 120 would be max, and he is really young and need to be careful with his arm, espec. with the shoulder issues but he has a chance to be really good, and maybe between him, Berrios, Meyer, This years pick and another one or two, including Gibson, at the very least, the twins should have some very tradable assests at the best 4 to 5, very capable/ possibly top end of the rotation talent that should be fun to watch, granted a couple won't pan out, but your still dealing with top end talent/potential that should bring this team back into competent or probably post season bound every year like it was the previous 7-8 yrs before 2011!
    1. twinsfan34's Avatar
      twinsfan34 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
      Can't all be Buxton, but a little strong confidence is also sometimes a necessity for a great player. He's not there yet, but he's definitely different than what the Twins typically go after. Not a bad thing unless it becomes a bad thing.
      I watched 3 interviews after being drafted, one with Gonsalves. Stewart is very intelligent. He stood up for Johnny Manziel, which was questionable. But he's very smart in comparison and won't just 'answer' a question that's politically correct. He'll be honest. He'll say, "I don't know." He talked about the hardships of minor league ball and going by bus. He's pretty smart kid, I came away encouraged. He was very respectful of Terry Ryan and authority, you could tell in his speech.

      The only negative was he stood up for Manziel, when he's clearly a moron. But that's a football guy, you stand by your guys. I see that as two-fold - one a great teammate guy - but two, maybe a weakness, in that make sure it's for the right reasons.
    1. Tibs's Avatar
      Tibs -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinsfan34 View Post
      I watched 3 interviews after being drafted, one with Gonsalves. Stewart is very intelligent. He stood up for Johnny Manziel, which was questionable. But he's very smart in comparison and won't just 'answer' a question that's politically correct. He'll be honest. He'll say, "I don't know." He talked about the hardships of minor league ball and going by bus. He's pretty smart kid, I came away encouraged. He was very respectful of Terry Ryan and authority, you could tell in his speech.

      The only negative was he stood up for Manziel, when he's clearly a moron. But that's a football guy, you stand by your guys. I see that as two-fold - one a great teammate guy - but two, maybe a weakness, in that make sure it's for the right reasons.
      Johnny Manziel is pretty popular among younger people. After all, he is just a kid having fun in college. People try too hard to give him a bad image.
    1. cmb0252's Avatar
      cmb0252 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tibs View Post
      Johnny Manziel is pretty popular among younger people. After all, he is just a kid having fun in college. People try too hard to give him a bad image.
      Also, you know, Stewart was committed to play QB at A&M. Even if he hated Manziel he couldn't say anything.

      I'm not worried at all about his attitude issues. He is still a kid. Not every player will be humble and having a little cockiness isn't a bad thing. Especially from a pitcher who could be the ace of your team. All that matters is he has stuff that scouts salivate over. While Meyer is closer Stewart's stuff is arguably already better.
    1. twinsfan34's Avatar
      twinsfan34 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tibs View Post
      Johnny Manziel is pretty popular among younger people. After all, he is just a kid having fun in college. People try too hard to give him a bad image.
      Yeah. I have a friend who has worked with him and other A&M athletes on their PR. He says, "I'm a college student just like everybody else."

      But he's not, he's the Heisman Trophy winner, on National TV, and has a chance to play in the NFL someday and make millions of dollars, which makes him not like every body else.
    1. Paul's Avatar
      Paul -
      "...but a little strong confidence is also sometimes a necessity for a great player."

      Everything done well stems from pride.
    1. Jdosen's Avatar
      Jdosen -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinsfan34 View Post
      I watched 3 interviews after being drafted, one with Gonsalves. Stewart is very intelligent. He stood up for Johnny Manziel, which was questionable. But he's very smart in comparison and won't just 'answer' a question that's politically correct. He'll be honest. He'll say, "I don't know." He talked about the hardships of minor league ball and going by bus. He's pretty smart kid, I came away encouraged. He was very respectful of Terry Ryan and authority, you could tell in his speech.

      The only negative was he stood up for Manziel, when he's clearly a moron. But that's a football guy, you stand by your guys. I see that as two-fold - one a great teammate guy - but two, maybe a weakness, in that make sure it's for the right reasons.
      Sorry to get off topic but the Manziel bashing always sets me off on this rant, so I just have to get it out there: I'm almost exactly the same age as Manziel and I can guarantee you that if you put me in his shoes--being nationally famous overnight, intensely scrutinized, and with very wealthy parents who will give me (seemingly) anything I could ever want, I don't think I would handle myself very well publicly either. Especially considering a little over a year ago, he was largely unknown. If I was being vilified every time I went out to a bar or a house party at school, my public perception would be pretty negative as well.
    1. OldManWinter's Avatar
      OldManWinter -
      Unless we have had extended personal contact with either Manziel or Stewart we do not know? How can anyone come across as being of sound and stable while having hundreds of cameras and mikes shoved in their faces constantly?
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by orangevening View Post
      The reports of his diva attitude worry me. Sounds like the anti-Buxton.
      I keep hearing about these reports from a few random posts in this message board. I've yet to actually see a link to some of this. Personally, I'd like to see that.
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